Chance are you’ve seen a video or two of spoken word artist Prince Ea dropping intellectual jewels with a backdrop of creative visuals. Whether he’s rhyming about doing away with labels in “I am NOT Black, You are NOT White,” or listing the woes of the world in “Why I Think This World Should End,” millions of viewers are eager to listen when Prince Ea speaks. Chevrolet recognized the artist’s ability to capture the feelings and thoughts of milllenials, so the vehicle company has partnered with him to launch the #FuelYourHustle initiative for the 2016 Cruze.

Prince Ea can be seen in a new Chevrolet ad performing a piece on hustling for your dreams. “Hustle is worth more than money, it is more important than skill. It is the will to follow your heart and not wait for the right time, but to create the right time,” Prince Ea says.

The messages are geared toward individuals much like himself — those who are just getting started on the path to greatness and need the right vehicle to help launch them into the direction of their goals. That’s where the new Cruze comes in.

Rolling out spoke with Mary Kubitskey, senior advertising and marketing manager at Chevrolet. She discussed why the company chose a spoken word artist like Prince Ea for #FuelYourHustle and why the 2016 Cruze is the perfect car for the typical millennial.

What is your role as the senior advertising and marketing manager at Chevrolet?

I am the marketing manager over passenger cars at Chevrolet. So it’s all hands on deck for the Malibu and Cruze launch. So I head the marketing and the advertising, as well as distribution.

What is a typical day for you like?

It could be anything from working with product designers, to doing some target work or some competitive work. Today is our official Cruze media launch day, so we started with the Prince Ea Twitter initiative on Friday. So lately, it’s been a little bit of everything, but really heavy on the ad side.

Can you tell us about the #FuelYourHustle initiative?

It’s a social-digital initiative for us to kick off our Cruze launch in a nontraditional way. We kicked it off with Twitter First View, which is a first for an automotive advertiser. The word “hustle” came up a lot with our Cruze targets — they’re very young, they’re social-connected, they’re validated by how connected they are with their friends, and they’re just starting out in life. Many of them are buying their first homes, and many of them are buying their first cars. We heard about Prince Ea a year ago. We wanted something very different, and something nontraditional that would let us connect with our consumer. Not a real hard-hitting message, but just something saying “We get you,” and we couldn’t think of anyone who could do that better than Prince Ea. He was up for it and wanted to come to Detroit to produce the spot.

Photo credit: © General Motors

Photo credit: © General Motors

What was it about Prince Ea that made you choose him?

We liked his message. We had an internal nod around here about fueling your hustle, and this is whether you’re a 25-year-old Hispanic person in Miami or a 35-year-old mother of two. That was the incite we wanted to gravitate toward. So we wanted an artist who was kind of up-and-coming. Prince Ea was just starting to get some traction. We briefed him on our incite, and he seemed to get it right away. We also liked the idea of spoken word as a genre. There hasn’t been a lot of advertisers who have gravitated towards it yet. We could have found an athlete, a movie star, or a singer, but we really liked the idea of going with a genre that is emerging.

How would you define the personality and style of the 2016 Chevrolet Cruze if it were human?

The Cruze is very stylish, very smart, and it’s incredibly connected with all the new technology. It has 4G. It’s equip with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The vehicle has features that you’d expect to find in more luxury cars. It has lots of range. It’s the total package, and it’s beautiful.

What are your favorite features?

I love Apple CarPlay. It’s really nice to be able to hook up your Android Auto or your Apple CarPlay and have your contacts there, have your emails read to you, have your text just come in and your radio muted without having to learn a whole new language in your car through Bluetooth. It’s a very simple plug-in, and you’re good to go; there’s nothing to learn.

Who is the ideal driver?

A young male or female of around 30 years old, just starting out with their first real job or nice promotion into a real job. Somebody who’s just signed a lease on a new apartment, or just got a new house. Someone who may be in a relationship, but probably doesn’t have a family yet. Somebody who, frankly, is hustling. They may have a passion they’re trying to cultivate into a career or a career they’re getting started with.

Are there any upcoming activations for the Chevrolet Cruze?

Yes, we’ve got a lot. It’s probably Chevy’s second or third biggest launch this year. So you’ll see product placement in broadcast shows. If you go on Snapchat, you’ll see a takeover with Cruze there. There was an integration on “The Walking Dead” last night, and there will be another one in three weeks that will go on for several months.

We did a really nice partnership with Cinema. So there’s a two-minute spot that will feature the new Cruze and the new Malibu. After the lights are dimmed and previews are about to start, you’ll see a spot directed by Sam Raimi, who is a horror director. It’s getting a lot of attention.

Kacie Whaley

I'm a writer and philosopher.